The World of Paperbacks

Contemporary Review, May 2004 | Go to article overview

The World of Paperbacks


OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS continues its publication of Jane Austen's novels in its World Classics' series with new editions of three novels originally edited by the late Prof. James Kinsley. Sense and Sensibility now has an introduction by Prof. Margaret Anne Doody and notes by Prof. Claire Lamont. There are also useful appendices discussing 'ranks and social status' and dancing as portrayed in the novel. The second revised edition is the posthumous novel, Persuasion, here introduced and noted by Prof. Deidre Shauna Lynch. In addition to the two appendices noted already there is one giving the original ending of the novel and another on Jane Austen's relation to the Royal Navy. The third new title is Pride and Prejudice which, in the words of the new introduction by Fiona Stafford, is Jane Austen's 'most witty and effervescent' novel. Each volume sells at [pounds sterling]3.99. Also in the Oxford World's Classics' series is Irish Writing: An Anthology of Irish Literature in English 1789-1939 ([pounds sterling]10.99) edited by Stephen Regan. In addition to poetry there are selections from cultural and political writings and speeches, as well as from plays, novels, songs, ballads, memoirs, autobiographies and short stories. The introduction has some very interesting things to say on the relationship between Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France and the situation in his native Ireland.

Also from O.U.P. we have another in the 'very short introduction' series: Dana Arnold's Art History: A Very Short Introduction ([pounds sterling]6.99). This aims to introduce readers to 'the issues and debates that make up the discipline of art history and that arise from art history's central concerns'. Finally O.U.P. has brought over two titles originally published in New York, George Weigel's The Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism ([pounds sterling]13.99) which looks at the Catholic Church's role in the revolutions of 1989 which overthrew the communist empire and Jay P. Dolan's In Search of an American Catholicism: A History of Religion and Culture in Tension ([pounds sterling]7.99), an incisive look at the relationship between religion and culture and between Catholicism and American democracy.

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS have recently issued paperback editions of two history titles that were well received on hardback publication: Gavin Weightman's Signor Marconi's Magic Box: How an Amateur Inventor Defied Scientists and Began the Radio Revolution and Paul Hyland's Ralegh's Last Journey: A Tale of Madness, Vanity and Treachery which gives readers a new insight into the downfall of Sir Walter Ralegh. Both are priced at [pounds sterling]7.99.

From PAN BOOKS we have two titles concerned with two aspects of modern terrorism. The first is Richard English's Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA ([pounds sterling]9.99), an informed, balanced and objective study of the IRA and its murderous history. The second is Robin Moore's Task Force Dagger: The Hunt for Bin Laden. The Inside Story of Special Operations Forces in the War on Terror ([pounds sterling]7.99) which began life as a Random House title in New York.

The decline of Irish Catholicism has been a dominant theme in recent discussions of Irish life and the new edition, from Dublin's GILL & MACMILLAN of Dr Louise Fuller's Irish Catholicism since 1950: The Undoing of a Culture ([pounds sterling]10. …

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